This chapter investigates four aspects of the question of state punishment. It shows that the state has the right to punish offenders on the grounds that it is permissible to assist victims in vindicating their rights. It shows that it sometimes has the duty to punish offenders on the grounds that citizens have a duty to protect each other from threats. It shows that the state has an exclusive right to punish offenders on the grounds that citizens have a duty to defer to institutions which can best carry out the duty to punish. It also examines the significance of the fact that the state must punish through institutions for the permission to punish offenders, considering the death penalty.
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